Grandchildren of couple killed in crash share €25,000 ‘distress’ award.
Grandson arrived at scene of collision in which James and Betty O’Brien died
A judge has directed that a €25,000 award for mental distress arising from a car crash in which an elderly couple died, be divided equally among their three gradnchildren.
Barrister Frank Crean told the Circuit Civil Court that James O’Brien (81) and Betty O’Brien (81) and a motorcyclist, John Doyle (29), died in the crash on the M9 link road with Athy, Co Kildare on May 31st, 2015.
Judge James O’Donohoe heard that €25,394 was being paid out under the Civil Liability Act by the insurers of the late James O’Brien to his surviving family as compensation for distress.
Mr Crean had brought an application for payment out of the award on behalf of Brian Cullen (17) grandson of the deceased couple and told the court that the boy’s mother, Catherine Cullen, was waiving her interest in the claim on behalf of the boy and his brother Tomas (15) and sister Shona (13).
He said it had been agreed that the compensation be divided in three equal shares of €8,454 between the late couple’s three grandchildren and lodged in court to their benefit.
Mr Crean said a payment out of €5,173 towards funeral costs should be directed by the court to the children’s father, Tom Cullen.
He told the court the proceedings arose out of a tragic accident very close to the home of Tom Cullen and the grandchildren. Tom and Brian were leaving their home at Ballycullane, Athy, at the time and heard the fatal impact at a crossroads just 40m away.
Mr Crean said that as a result of hearing the crash, Brian had witnessed the aftermath after going with his father to investigate.
Judge O’Donohoe expressed his sympathies to the families of all of the deceased, and directed that the monies be paid in accordance with the agreement as outlined to the court by Mr Crean.
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